Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Due to COVID-19, kids and adults are online more than ever, often unsupervised in the same space.

Help kids stay safe.

  • Talk openly with your child about their online activity

Discuss internet safety and develop an online safety plan with children before they engage in online activity. Establish clear guidelines, teach children to spot red flags, and encourage children to have open communication with you.

  • Keep screens and devices where you can see them

Including periodically checking their profiles and posts. Keep electronic devices in open, common areas of the home.

  • Know your parental controls

Educate yourself with parental controls such as filtering, blocking, limiting time, monitoring tools and more.

  • Be Alert

Be alert to potential signs of abuse, cyber-bullying, withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, and depression. Encourage children to tell a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult if anyone asks them to engage in sexual activity or other inappropriate behavior.

  • Be ‘share aware’ to protect your privacy

Never reveal personal information, such as address, phone number, or school name or location. Use only a screen name and don't share passwords (other than with parents).

  • Keep control of your family’s digital footprint

The big risk with this is that once information is shared publicly, it can be used in ways you may not expect and cannot control. You should also assume that anything that is put online is permanent. Only share with people who they know and trust.

  • Teach your children to keep their location private

Location features should be turned off for obvious privacy and safety reasons. Digital photos also contain metadata (information about the time, date and GPS coordinates) which may reveal more then you want to. Apps like Snapchat, automatically share your location. You will have to manually turn off your location.

  • Keep track of online time

Set timers, turn off your home WiFi, set aside “screen-free” time with your family.

  • Be #SocialNetworkSavvy

Educate yourself! Review games, apps, and social media sites before they are downloaded or used by children. You should know the ways to be safe on social networks so that you can give the best advice to your children.

  • Lead by example

Lead by example and always model the kind of positive online behavior you would like your children to use. If they see you being cautious and respectable when you are online, they are more likely to follow in your footsteps.

Helpful Resources:

US Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus/keeping-children-safe-online

FTC: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/protecting-kids-online